Oman is witnessing a growing trend in self-drive tours.
Commenting on this trend, an official from Mark Tours said: “This season, we are selling more self-drive packages than ever before. Self-drive sales have overtaken conventional round trips with guides.”
He said the main reason for this was cost.
“By not having tourist guide rates and accommodation factored into the price of packages, it makes Oman more affordable for visitors. The typical self-drive clients are European couples. The formula would have been difficult to sell five or ten years ago, but Oman has a good road network, it is known to be a safe place as far as crime is concerned, GPS is installed in vehicles, and a good itinerary is handed to the tourists.”
According to an official from National Travel and Tourism, self-drive tours have outsold conventional tours for the first time this year. “Customers can save up to 30% by not having a tour guide. With the help of GPS, good roads, and signage leading to places of interest, more tourists are opting to go without a guide,” he said.
“While we continue to provide accompanying guides and drivers according to the client’s needs, demand is increasing for highly specialised guides for a short duration. For example, experienced guides can join to cross the desert or for hikes in mountainous areas,” he said.